Quentin Bates dates back to the year of the Cuban Missile Crisis and was brought up in the south of England. In the year that Margaret Thatcher became Britain’s Prime Minister, he was offered the opportunity to spend a gap year working in Iceland and jumped at the chance of escape. The gap year turned into a gap decade, during which he worked as a netmaker, factory hand and trawlerman, and started a family.
In England he worked as a truck driver, teacher, fisherman and as a freelance journalist writing about nautical stuff, while gradually spending less time at sea. Gradually writing started to take over.
Seagoing was followed by years as a journalist for obscure nautical trade magazines, a dream job for anyone who gets a kick out of visiting industrial estates and obscure harbours miles from anywhere. From there it was a series of sidesteps into fiction.
Gunnhildur and the book that became Frozen Out grew out of a university writing course that enabled him to take an afternoon off work once a week.
‘Although I live in England these days, Iceland remains very close. I go to Iceland a couple of times a year, either alone or with my wife, both for work and just to spend some time there. I like to keep a close eye on what’s happening in my other home.’
As well as writing his own fiction, Quentin has become a busy translator, having translated Ragnar Jónasson’s Dark Iceland series of five novels and Lilja Sigurðardóttir’s Reykjavik Noir trilogy into English for Orenda Books. Other translations include Bowline by Guðlaugur Arason, The Edge of the World by Sigurjón Magnússon and Cab 79 by Indriði G. Thorsteinsson.